The Best Places to Fish in Florida within Driving Distance from Tampa

August 15, 2021

Here in Florida, fishing is a way of life. Whether you’re looking for fishing spots in Tampa or if you prefer to drop a line close by, we’ve got all the information you need! In this article, we will be discussing the best fishing spots in and around Tampa, that are perfect for a day of fishing.

Beaches and Fishing Piers

The best and easiest way to fish around the Tampa area would be going to the beach or any fishing pier along the gulf or bay. You can catch lots of different fish. It’s easily accessible and relatively straight forward for any level of fisherman.

Belleair Fishing Pier – Belleair is one of the first fishing piers in Tampa, and it’s also a great fishing spot. It features an easy shoreline access for fishing as well as other amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, BBQ pits and more!

Gulfport Pier – Gulfport has various fishing opportunities not only for fishing, but also crabbing and clamming. There are many different species to catch as well!

Bridges and Passes

These spots offer a great chance to hook up with a big fish. Bridges offer cover from the elements and a depth of water for smaller fish to hold. Passes are deep and have strong currents. These are great spots for predatory fish. To improve your fishing experience be sure to bring the proper gear.

Boca Ciega Bay Bridge – This is one of the best bridges in Tampa to fish because it’s close by and fishing opportunities are abundant.

St. Andrews Bay Pass – This is a great spot for fishing because of the depth and strong currents which offer an ideal environment for game fish to live in, as well as additional shoreline access points and fishing piers!

Flats and backcountry fishing spots

The fishing at these spots can be more difficult and challenging, but the rewards are often worth it. Typically a boat is required, but these are great spots to key in on some technical sight fishing.

Garlic Creek Flats – This fishing spot is great because it’s not as crowded, the fishing opportunities are abundant and there are few restrictions.

Hillsborough River Backcountry – The Hillsborough River offers a variety of fishing spots with lots of different species to catch! It has many inlets that offer protection from the sun or rain while still being accessible.

Offshore wrecks, reefs or canyons

If you’re looking for a challenge and want to hook up with the big one, these are the spots. These fishing locations require knowledge of currents, tides, weather patterns or equipment that is specifically designed for deep water fishing. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect from each of these location types:

Florida Shipwreck Fishing – Florida has many different types of shipwrecks including artificial reefs which make them great fishing spots.

Reef Fishing – Reef fishing is a type of fishing where the angler fishes primarily on top of submerged rocks, coral or artificial reefs. These types of wrecks are typically close to shore and easy for any level fisherman to access!

Canyon Fishing – Canyons offer protection from waves, wind and weather making them ideal fishing spots. Canyon walls and the depth of water around them provide a challenge for any fish to escape!

Lake Fishing

Lake fishing is another great way to fish in Tampa. Lakes provide convenient access near residential areas. This makes it easy to plan on a few hours, or a full day of fishing. Here are some of our favorite fishing spots close by!

Apopka Lake – Apopka offers a fishing pier with restrooms, picnic tables and concessions for easy fishing access! There’s also a boat ramp for easier access on the water. The lake has many different species to catch!

Lake Tarpon – The best fresh water fishing in the Tampa Bay area can be found at Lake Tarpon [LINK] . It is one of the top-rated lakes in the state for bass fishing. This is a great fishing spot because it’s easy to access, has amenities on site and offers the opportunity for different species of fish!

How can you find the best spot for a day of fishing? We recommend a google search of public fishing piers or parks that have fishing access in the area. The Tampa Bay area has a seemingly endless list of fishing options available, all within a short drive.

If you need help selecting the best gear for your day of fishing, stop by Bill Jacksons, and speak to one of our knowledgeable employees in the fishing department.